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Thread: AUX-IN to stock E36 head unit

  1. #26
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    Ok, I got it working. Both channels.

    But the quality is not really surprising. Maybe its because I am bypassing my amp (in a trunk) or something else.

    When I connect it to my iPod it has a lot of bass, but no highs. When I connect it to the brain of Drive+Play I have amazing sound with equal amount of bass and highs, but sound is distorted.

    There is no short. Volume of iPod is 1/4 to 1/2.

    So I would stay with cassette adapter for now. Probably buy another Belkin (since I ruined this one) and just leave it there permanently. I can even hide a cord behind a radio and trim.

  2. #27
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    the problem is probably due to bypassing the amp. The ipod has a built in equalizer fyi though. that may fix your problem

  3. #28
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    Thumbs up

    I decided to stop at cassette adapter. Quality is outstanding. Load, clear and a lot of Highs and Bass. Thats with Belkin cassete adapter. I tried another brand and it was load clicking sound and overall sound quality terrible.

    The only issue I had is that one channel was loader, but that was fixed by inserting tiny piece of wooden toothpick.

    I even bought white Cassette Adapter this time - could not find black one of Belkin, but piece of white cord is hidden under the trim piece that goes over Tape deck.

    PS. Earlier when I just joined this amazing forum I was complaining that my e39 is not producing enough Highs. Well now I see it does, more than enough.

    siny528i

  4. #29
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    Cool iPod Problem

    First off, great write-up. You should post it on some diy site or something. I followed all of the instructions and it works! The problem is when I use the iPod it sounds very distorted regardless the volume level, but when I plug it into my Sirius radio, it is the best it has ever sounded. Any ideas why it does this with the iPod and not the satellite? I also get engine noise that comes through the speakers similar to when you have a bad fm-transmitter. I think that better shielded cat-5 cable would fix that, any ideas?

    Thanks
    -Thee Penguin

  5. #30
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    FYI, you can also just use tap-in connectors on the audio connector for the cd changer. Make a cd of 70/80 minutes of silence, keep it loaded, and when you want aux, select that disc, jack in, and there you go.

    OP: I might suggest running your audio cable under the center console back to the storage area behind the cupholders (if you've got a us-spec center piece). It's not hard to feed it back there, and it looks tons better than having the cable come out under the OBC. Just a suggestion.

  6. #31
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    sorry for late reply: I dont check here very often (dont own a BMW... yet!)
    bmwpenguin: better shielded cable will definately give you a better signal. Also a shorter cable will give you a better signal (more length == more impedance)

    javamon: not everyone has a CD changer, but if you do, go for it. good idea for the placement of the cable. I'm buying a canada-spec 318ti soon, and I'll have to find a good spot for that one too.

  7. #32
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    A good place to find shielded cable is either a) cannibalize an old pair of headphones or an RCA cable, or b) Carefully unsolder a shielded cable from inside an old stereo/tape deck. Look for a 1/16" or so cable, usually gray, with 3 leads coming out of it. They typically run from the tape head to the preamp board. These are perfect for short internal runs, such as from the tape head to an AUX jack like in the first few posts.

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  8. #33
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    I went through this procedure - it works! Great job Jeff! Of course, I'm having the same distortion problem as witnessed by others. I haven't read any solutions anywhere.... Is it possible that we're tapping into the audio stream too early? Is there something in the usual tape adapters that corrects the audio before it is sent to the tape head?

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3Mordechai View Post
    I went through this procedure - it works! Great job Jeff! Of course, I'm having the same distortion problem as witnessed by others. I haven't read any solutions anywhere.... Is it possible that we're tapping into the audio stream too early? Is there something in the usual tape adapters that corrects the audio before it is sent to the tape head?
    we may be connecting too early. I can try to find a better spot, I am working on my ti this week, need to fix the speaker in my door, can rip out the radio then.

  10. #35
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    I'm gonna try using impedance matching transformers on mine and see if it helps. I'll report back here.

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  11. #36
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    No cap, no res - ground for C43?

    Glad you are still following this thread - I really want to find the solution for mine and everyone else who is interested. I opened up my cassette adapter hoping to find a resistor/capacitor or something I insert into the path of the ipod but no luck.

    Theoreticaly, the procedure SHOULD work assuming that all connections are correct. I am realy wondering about the common ground since it does not seem to be used in the scenario of the C43 - it MUST go somewhere on that board! I sent mine to the chasis which is obviously not correct....

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3Mordechai View Post
    Glad you are still following this thread - I really want to find the solution for mine and everyone else who is interested. I opened up my cassette adapter hoping to find a resistor/capacitor or something I insert into the path of the ipod but no luck.

    Theoreticaly, the procedure SHOULD work assuming that all connections are correct. I am realy wondering about the common ground since it does not seem to be used in the scenario of the C43 - it MUST go somewhere on that board! I sent mine to the chasis which is obviously not correct....
    c43 radio is what is in my brother's car. the mod worked perfectly. show me where you are trying to tap into. the cassette deck in c43 and c33 are the same iirc. I've done it in both.

  13. #38
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    Anybody using this for sat radio? If I do this, it would be for my sat radio, not iPod. Is the sound quality distorted like with the iPods?

  14. #39
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    updates please

    do not understand suggest B, would love to do this mod when you guys have a tutorial for the 1/8" female, auto switch, and suggestion B.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by overeasy View Post
    updates please

    do not understand suggest B, would love to do this mod when you guys have a tutorial for the 1/8" female, auto switch, and suggestion B.
    progress is currently very slow. school is starting for me, and soccer has already started

    the radio is not fully documented (go figure) so it is all reverse engineering, which by nature is a slow project. Work is still being done, when it is perfected, believe me, you will see in this thread.

  16. #41
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    sounds great
    i just may do a zelda themed sig aswell...

  17. #42
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    +1 for this DIY. I first did it and tried playing music through my laptop (cause my SanDisk Sansa was dead). It was horrible. Didtorted and very staticy. I was sure it was probabaly my somewhat shotty soldering. Then I charged my Sansa and tried it. Very very clear. I was very suprised.

    It's probably just cuse it is a laptop, so the sound system isn't really top with it.
    Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car and oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car.
    Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall, torque is how far you take the wall with you.

  18. #43
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    I'm moving this project up on my priority list because my Belkin cassette adapter just died on me. It always had an intermittent connection but now it's all static and won't play.

    Has anyone tried interfacing to the CD-changer connection on the back of the head unit? It has audio inputs for L and R, but I'm not sure how to fool the Data Bus into thinking there's a CD changer attached. I'm hoping I can just ground one of the data pins through a resistor to at least allow the head unit to allow the "Tape/CD" button to select the CD input source. I don't care about being able to control my iPhone with the head unit, just getting clean audio into it.

    Here's a thread with someone else trying what I'm talking about: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...77&postcount=4

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  19. #44
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    Hey m2pc,

    Why dont you try and use USA Spec Auxillary Interface if you have hook up for CD Changer:


    along with Harmon Kardon Drive+Play (approx $30 on eBay)?

    This will give you much better sound than Cassette Adapter.

    Just make sure you will make volume on your iPod/iPhone all the way UP - so this will help eliminate static.

    Btw, it cost me $30 for Harmon Kardon Drive+Play and $9.98 for USA Spec Auxillary Interface

    Let us know how is it going,
    siny528i

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by siny528i View Post
    Hey m2pc,

    Why dont you try and use USA Spec Auxillary Interface if you have hook up for CD Changer:


    along with Harmon Kardon Drive+Play (approx $30 on eBay)?

    This will give you much better sound than Cassette Adapter.

    Just make sure you will make volume on your iPod/iPhone all the way UP - so this will help eliminate static.

    Btw, it cost me $30 for Harmon Kardon Drive+Play and $9.98 for USA Spec Auxillary Interface

    Let us know how is it going,
    siny528i
    Does this connect to the I-Bus connector on the back of the stock stereo? How do you select AUX in, by pressing the "TAPE/CD" button? Can you control the iPod from this?

    Thanks!

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
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  21. #46
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    USA Spec Auxillary Interface is a small box which is replacing your factory CD Changer. You will have to choose between listening either CD Changer or iPod/iPhone. USA Spec Auxillary Interface has 2 RCA outputs (L and R). You would need to run RCA cables all the way to the dash panel where you connect them to you iPod/iPhone. Glove compartment in my case.

    Yes, you will be able to select AUX in "CD" button.
    No, you will not be able to control the iPod by your radio.

    Thats why I have Harmon Kardon Drive+Play. My RCA cables from USA Spec Auxillary Interface run directly to the brain of Harmon Kardon Drive+Play hidden behind a radio. From there it goes to display on dash panel and iPod in glove compartment.

  22. #47
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    btw, if you want to control your iPod through you oem head-unit and search your music library by Playlist, Artist, Album, and of course Song, you may want to try BSW Direct Auxillary Input Kit as Paul at BSW suggested on another of my threads.

  23. #48
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    Hmm, it's cheaper (and fun) to reverse engineer the stereo for now.

    There's a pre-amplifier IC attached to the cassette mechanism board:
    http://www.datasheetcatalog.org/data...shiba/1619.pdf

    I'm going to see if the various inputs on that offer better signal quality.

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  24. #49
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    Hey guys, just a weekend update for you all:

    I have designed and built an aux-in interface board that mounts inside the C33 head unit, in the dead space between the cassette unit and the left side of the unit.

    I ran some initial tests with the unfinished circuit in the car late last night and made some adjustments
    I'm currently in the process of getting everything back together and final testing; I'll have pictures and DIY instructions up very soon!

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  25. #50
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    if you dont mind im bringing this thread back can you help me
    with my casette player to mod it up.











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